The Order of Australia Medal is the highest recognition within the Australian honours System for outstanding achievement and service. It has four levels including:
The Order of Australia was established in 1975, where The Queen approved its’ institution. Prior to this, Australians were instead recognised under the British honours system, aka Imperial Awards.
How it is awarded
The Order of Australia is the pre-eminent way Australians recognise the achievements and service of their fellow citizens. Nominations for awards in the General Division of the Order of Australia come directly from the community. Nominations are considered by the Council for the Order of Australia which makes recommendations directly to the Governor-General. Appointments in the Order of Australia are not made posthumously. However, a nomination will be considered if the person is alive when the nomination form is received by the Australian Honours and Awards Secretariat at Government House in Canberra.
Appointments in the Order of Australia are generally announced on Australia Day (26 January) and The Queen’s Birthday public holiday (June).
Hugh Jackman was awarded the Companion of Order of Australia (AC) in 2019 for “eminent service to the performing arts as an acclaimed actor and performer, and to the global community, particularly as an advocate for poverty eradication.“
Dr. Richard Harris and Craig Challen were awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) and the Star of Courage (SC) bravery decoration in 2018 for their role in rescuing 12 young boys and their soccer coach from a flooded cave in Thailand.
Professor Ian Frazer AC was awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia in 2012 for “eminent service to medical research”
Veronica Dobson AM was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2011 for “service to the Indigenous community as an Arrente elder and traditional owner… and to the preservation of Aboriginal language and culture in central Australia.”
Terri Irwin was awarded Honorary Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 for “outstanding dedication to wildlife conservation and the tourism industry”
Mel Gibson was awarded Officer of the Order Australia in 1997 for “service in the Australian Film Industry”
All information is sourced from Australian Government. n.d. Order of Australia